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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    see making up rules to cripple their charecter is likely just to make them quite the game.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    PersonMan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaTedinator View Post
    No, what I wanted was severe, pitiless realism. So I downloaded mods until I had it.

    [...]

    I got a few other mods - nighttime was so dark you needed a flashlight, clear sunny days were so bright it could be hard to see if the sun was in front of you, you dehydrated faster based on temperature and humidity, etc., etc.
    Just a little thing, but the bolded part really annoys me in games. I always wonder if the developers actually ever go outside at night. From inside, with lights on, it looks like impermeable darkness, but it really isn't.

    Normally at night you can see. Not especially well, but enough to realize that there's a wall here, a rock there and no, you aren't just walking into a cliff because it's pitch black. On a moonless/very cloudy night, yes, it does get all but impossible to see. In a desert, I doubt you have cloud-covered skies that often. So, for the most part, you can see at night.

    With this knowledge, it's always annoying to me that video games give characters "indoor vision" i.e. their eyes are defective and never adjust to the degree of light in a place. Something is either blindingly bright, impossibly dark or just right.

    Also, in response to the "invincible mode is unfulfilling" thing: This has been said before, but it is often fun. Sure, it's not the same as just playing the game, but that's like saying that cake makes terrible salad. If I want salad, do you think I'm going to be eating cake? (I certainly hope you say no here.) If I want cake and I have a salad-to-cake converter, I will make my salad a cake. I don't care if that ruins the salad - I want cake.

    Running around being immortal is hilariously fun in a way an epic story isn't. An epic story is awesome in a way running around being immortal isn't. Cake is delicious in a way salad cannot be. Salad is great in ways cake cannot hope to match.
    Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.

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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Morithias's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    Snip
    Thank a lot man. Now I want cake....you can keep the salad.

    Grr...hungry now.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    PersonMan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morithias View Post
    Thank a lot man. Now I want cake....you can keep the salad.

    Grr...hungry now.
    I live to serve invoke hunger in other people for things they do not currently have.
    Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.

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  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    " Okay, first that owlbear managed to bite my arm off, and I went with it. Then that ooze managed to dissolve my leg, so I got a peg-leg replacement and we continued. Then an otyugh managed to snap my spine, and the party fighter strapped me to his back to carry my through the remainder of the dungeon, but I didn't say anything.
    [spelling corrections mine]

    This sounds like the manliest rant in the universe. Definitely fitting for a paraplegic mentor NPC with only one arm and one leg. The NPC who would say this must be the most epic friendly in the game...
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I apparently am of that crazy middle ground between "MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GODS!" and "Don't touch my special snowflake!"

    Single rolls, especially anything that is Save or Die as described, is a pain for anyone who puts work into their character, or has over the course of a game become attached to their character. At the same time, doing stupid stuff does need a consequence, depending on the stupidity. In a TR based PTTA game, first round of it didn't last a month (it was PbP). Two of us ended up killing two kids over losing a battle. We then panic about what to do, and try to misdirect authorities and their mother from us while we flee. Not to mention our actual recruitment job going very poorly (time of it got bumped up due to panic). One very loud fight in a residential area later, we scramble back to TR.

    The characters get killed. My main gripe with it wasn't that we were killed. I totally agree that we screwed up majorly. The problem I had was that it was simply "You are grabbed and shot in the head." When there is no way for the player to even feel that their actions matter (even if the fight is stacked against them), it cheapens the game.

    As for the "Don't kill my PC!" he has to get over that. Crit happens. As well, even though I personally wouldn't make a habit of it, he does have to learn that sometimes PC's die. The trick, as some others have said, is to not let your character die for stupid, easily preventable things. The solution is to kill his character, but give him the opportunity to let it have a reason behind it. After that, he should slowly become more open to the idea of PC's dying.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Esprit15 View Post
    When there is no way for the player to even feel that their actions matter (even if the fight is stacked against them), it cheapens the game.
    This. You need to let the PC have the ability to affect the outcome. Let there be choices, even if they aren't all very attractive. Let there be some kind of escape route so he can run away and save himself, some clear choice which he could have made to decrease his chance of dying.

    It has to be fair. You send an appropriate challenge, and let the dice fall where they will. And don't fudge in anyone's favor. If that means someone important (like a PC) gets gibbed, that's a part of the game. You want to charge into a hole in the ground and risk your life 4 times a day? Well, you're going to get yourself killed someday, there's no sugar-coating that. If you fudge it, your players will quickly get bored -they'll know you won't let them die. There won't be any real risk, so the reward won't be very exciting either.

    If the players know they can't lose, they won't have much fun. The best way you can avoid this is to let them lose, let them die. Let it happen, but let them save themselves too (provided they come up with a good enough, realistic plan, and succeed on all necessary rolls), but don't force it either way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    oxybe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I'll try to give my position first, before my opinion.

    I game once a week. real life normally steps every so often and the GM/his kid is sick and he can't make it, sometimes he needs to work late, sometimes family visits... you know... real life.

    that's understandable.

    now, when we do game, it's normally from 7-7:30pm to about 10-10:30pm. not a long session by any standards, but we're rather good at getting things done when we've got our stride going.

    now, where am i going with all this?

    in a month of gameplay, that means we get about 12-15ish hours of RP under our belt. in a rogue-like videogame where death is handed out like cheap candy on halloween, i don't expect my character to last 12-15 hours or a game to last a month. hell, with my luck 2 hours in a rogue-like is good. in any normal videogame, 12-15 hours is more then enough time to grow attached to your character, especially in a medium that's generally more slower paced, like an TTRPG.

    there's also the fact that i can't play rogue-likes for prolonged periods of time... it's just not a style i can sit down an enjoy constantly. i like them to some extent, but it's a "sometimes game" to be sure.

    to be told "spend a month playing this game and investing 15+ hours only to start over" would be a good way to get me to stop playing the game for months on end, if not forever. not to say there aren't "sortof" exceptions.

    and note that i've only stated actual gameplay hours. depending on what i want to do from one session to the next, i might be very well spending out of game time researching a topic in real life and doing some back-and-forth between the gm and other players. a few weeks ago i did a few extra hours of research on the breeding of centipedes and lots of back & forth with the gm because of in-game events and things i was planning on doing, but didn't want to immediately invest in-game time in: items i wanted to use but asked for his a rulings before i start buying it in bulk and spells that looked useful, if a bit borked and how we might make them work without having me surprise this on him at an inopportune time, and even the fixes we did make are provisional in nature as nothing survives contact with the campaign.

    now i'm going to give a videogame example: i like starting new worlds in minecraft, for example, but that's because i'm often trying out new mods and blank slate worlds tend to lag far less then the monstrosities i leave behind. even within a single modpack, like tekkit, i've got like 4 worlds where i simply try different stuff out: one where i focus heavily on EquivalentExchange, one where i use lots of Redpower, one where i Buildcraft/industrial craft heavily, and often mix/match some of the other tech into it. but because i don't have any real attachment to those worlds that i can leave them behind and bring that knowledge into the next.

    everyone of them is an experiment with the end goal of "once i've learned what i can, i will leave this". i then apply what i've learned "in the wild", specifically on servers with other people. the ability to quickly gather resources and to build neat things is something i like, and a giant rube golberg-esque machine in minecraft is fun.

    leaving a server you've grown attached to or having it crash for good? that hurts far more then those testbed worlds as you've built things with your friends and it holds a few memories: that town you built on a chasm after mining it for ores? gone. those close calls in the caves you explored? gone.

    now, do note that in a TTRPG the act of experimenting with a previous character and bringing what you've learned onto the next tends to be frowned upon and called "metagaming", as taking knowledge and information learned from one character and applying it without context onto another character.

    but the less i'm supposed to be attached to my characters & the more "trial by error" is encouraged, the more clinical i get. it's less a character and more "how much can i learn and destruction can i cause before my time runs out", mainly because i don't care. i'm not invested.

    now, does that mean that death has no place in a game? no, it does, but like with all things, a caveat.

    while i tend to prefer games where death/perma-death is less frequent, that's just personal preference. there are many genres where that is the norm and should be expected, where one character's life can be easily taken away.

    but simply saying "well if you don't want to die, don't adventure" means you've missed the point, IMO as you're failing to take everything into context.

    think of how many genres out there exist where there is an adventure of sorts, or at the very least dangerous situations where the hero goes up against dangerous enemy forces.

    in all of them, do you really expect the heroes to die at the drop of a hat? i'll use an example: one blog i've been keeping up on is called "Cinnamon Bunzuh". it was reviewing the old Animorphs series in a rather tongue-and-cheek manner, getting more then a few laughs from me as it's a series i remember from my childhood (i used it and the goosebumps series as light reads to practice english, my second language. it was enjoyable practice as it was not a difficult read but overall entertaining at that age) and they just finished the last book in the series, where SPOILERS: important named characters die.

    note that for the most part of the 54 main series books, the heroes are fighting what seems to be a losing war. they're winning skirmishes, but the overall war doesn't seem to be going their way. up until the end, nowhere did i actually expect the book to go "...and then Tobias gets shot by some jerk with a gun and stuffed on a mantle. Also, Marco crashes his dad's truck and splits his skull because it's established he's a horrible driver who hates trash cans".

    just because they're on an adventure doesn't mean you have to expect the heroes to die at a moment's notice. And just because you don't expect them to die, doesn't mean they'll always succeed. the 'morphs have had several setbacks and failed missions, causing them to run with their tails between their legs.

    but to say "if you don't want to die, don't adventure"? it's just not something i care for as it doesn't fit all genres. it definitely fits some, but all? no.

    that's an expectation that the GM needs to make clear at the onset of the game. to expect all players to want to play a game where a character's life hangs on what amounts to a coinflip is simply not true. at least, not with me.

    now, does that mean i want to play on godmode/autowin? as a said, i like failure to be an option. i just don't want failure to always = death.

    i find that TTRPG session where the only way to fail is through death to be boring. heroes can fail. a god or demigod can fail. i mean, look at hercules: he's had his fair share of failures and setbacks in life and he's a rather powerful chap, i'd say.

    i've also had the most fun playing characters who had things to protect other then their life and gear. PCs who've grown attached to a town, a mentor, friends, a group, etc... and work to protect those things they value and see them grow. were these characters strong? yes. but their fun was that they had ties to the setting and challenged in ways that wasn't just life/death.

    it's one of the reasons i just can't get into TTRPGs with quick, random deaths: if it takes a month for us to finish a single quest, i've probably grown attached to the character, not just because of playing in-game, but thinking about what i'm going to do between sessions as well as some back & forth with the other players & the gm. if i'm going to be attached to something, it's because i want to see how it develops. quick death often means little chance of development, IME, so i simply do not get attached and eventually get bored.

    the side note is that it can also be frustrating to be killed halfway into a session and have no logical place to bring in a replacement character or a revive. being told "sorry, you need to wait another week before you can play" is kind of a pain. it's bad enough having to wait a few minutes to respawn in some FPS games. Imagine a respawn time of a week.

    man, this is far longer then i expected it to be. i really hope this doesn't feel like the long ramble it is. i've tried to do some formatting so my train of though flows a bit better but...

    just my 2cp.

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Iíve said it once ill say it again losing and death arenít the same thing. In my experience high death rate particularly when its arbitrary causes people to lose interest much faster then wining difficult but nonlethal fights.

    Some people want to play a cinematic game where the only deaths occurs at plot important moments. Look at fantasy books/ movies/ comics how often does the hero die because some random mook got a lucky crit. Some people want to play a gritty war story where anyone can die at an time others want to go on a epic adventure neither is wrong and im honestly sick of people telling me it is.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DaTedinator's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    snip
    Oh, yeah, I should have specified that the method of extreme realism that I described is not the only way to play a game, nor is it always (or even usually) the most fun. I was responding specifically to the question in the OP, "Why do you put so much effort into the game if one single bad roll can kill weeks of efforts?"

    The purpose of my post was absolutely not to say that extreme risk of death is the best way to play. The purpose of my post was to demonstrate that there can be a lot of value in the risk of death. I guess I should've made that clearer.

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    Just a little thing, but the bolded part really annoys me in games. I always wonder if the developers actually ever go outside at night. From inside, with lights on, it looks like impermeable darkness, but it really isn't.
    Yeah, I hate the same thing. But since it was all mods, I got to choose the exact brightness I wanted! So it didn't get that dark, you could walk around fine (which was good, because if you had to have a light on all the time, all the bad guys would see you long before you saw them). But if you were walking somewhere precarious or had to find a dropped handgun or something? You needed a light.

    And crazily enough, yes, turning on a light ruined your night vision for a few minutes. It was pretty intense.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I'm not sure I like the idea of placing character death too explicitly in the hands of player decision making. That's liable to backfire as far as the player feeling miserable is concerned. To paraphrase Calvin & Hobbes: there's no problem so awful you can't add some guilt to it and make it even worse. "Swordicus fought like a lion against impossible odds" is a much better epitaph for a grieving player to hear, than "Swordicus made a bad choice and got the consequence."

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